Belgium is a federal country composed of three regions: Wallonia, Flanders, and Brussels (capital). The country is quite poor in energy sources, and for the generation of electricity, it depends in a significant manner on fuel importation. Regarding biomass, with more than 600,000 ha of wooded lands, Belgium has a well-developed wood industry activity. Woody biomass is the most important Belgian biomass resource coming from forest residues and wood industry by-products.
In the specific case of renewable, the electricity produced using this type of energy source is promoted mainly through a quota system based on the trade of certificates. Besides offshore wind power that is governed by national regulations, the promotion of renewable energy is a regional competence. Accordingly, every region has its own standards of support for renewable energy, based on a national framework. Generally, electricity suppliers are obliged to present green certificates to prove that a certain proportion (quota) of the electricity supplied to their final consumers in Belgium was generated from renewable sources. This quota differs according to the region.
However, it is important to highlight that the use of biomass for the generation of electricity in the country suffers from financial insecurity and insufficient sup- port, which are limiting the increase in the use of this renewable energy source for this specific purpose.
In 2012, the installed capacity of biomass and waste in Belgium for the generation of electricity reached 1,426 MW, which represents 6.89 % of the total electricity capacity installed in the country and 25.24 % of the total of the renew- able capacity installed in that year. According to the biomass and waste capacity installed in the country in 2012, Belgium occupies the place number 16 at world level with 1.78 % of the world total. At regional level, the country occupies the place number 10 with 4.15 % of the regional capacity installed.
Generation of Electricity Using Biomass and Waste
The evolution of the generation of electricity using biomass and waste in Belgium during the period 2008–2012 is shown in Fig. 7.4.
From Fig. 7.4, the following can be stated: The generation of electricity using biomass and waste in Belgium during the period 2008–2012 increased 43.4 %. It is expected that the use of this type of energy source for the generation of electricity in the country will continue increasing during the coming years, particularly after that all nuclear power plants currently operating in Belgium are shut down in the coming decades.